Ken Laberteaux is a senior principal scientist for Toyota North America, and he's convinced that self-driving cars will increase pollution, exacerbate urban sprawl, and ruin our families. I'm pretty sure there's something in there about killing kittens too, but I may have missed it in his haze of pessimistic, contrarian bullshit.
At this week's Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco, Laberteaux took to the stage to point out a series of hypothetical consequences of a world with autonomous vehicles, and how faster commute times will appeal to humans baser, selfish instincts.
"U.S. history shows that anytime you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live further from things," Laberteaux is quoted by Bloomberg. "The pattern we've seen for a century is people turn more speed into more travel, rather than maybe saying 'I'm going to use my reduced travel time by spending more time with my family.'"
Sure, some people will use their car's newfangled abilities to justify a larger McMansion out in the sticks, but those people are likely the exception, particularly since we're seeing an increase in people moving to urban areas, not out of them.